“Everything is bigger in Texas,” or so the old adage goes, and so Texas Motor Speedway will once again bring the high-flying action to race fans with the No Limits Offroad Rumble this Saturday. The midway point to the 2018 Stadium Super Trucks season will see drivers tackle a unique course cut out of part of TMS’ tri-oval and infield, which includes a massive dirt crossover jump among the largest on the SST schedule.
With the only single-day doubleheader on the 2018 calendar ahead of them, SST drivers will have to balance their willingness to take risks with the need to run two races in roughly a seven-hour span. Even more challenging is the need to go for maximum points before the series’ two-and-a-half-month sabbatical before the season resumes on August 24-25 at Road America. Make sure you keep an eye on these three drivers as top candidates to find a way to balance aggression and conservation:
Obviously the guy who runs the series is going to be a driver to watch every weekend, even if he wasn’t a living legend like Gordon is. But Gordon’s also returning to SST after taking off the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix at Belle Isle to run the Baja 500, where he placed in the top 10 in the premier Trophy Truck class. Still sitting on only a single win so far in 2018, Gordon’s going to be extra motivated to take his second checkered flag of the season to back up his first win of the year in Adelaide back in March.
Harlien’s first and third place finishes enabled him to keep championship leader Matt Brabham from extending the points lead to an insurmountable advantage in Detroit, as Brabham placed fourth and second to continue a ruthlessly consistent season so far. Harlien enters Texas as the only driver to have taken dual podiums here last year, though; he’ll probably need to replicate that performance this Saturday, though, as Brabham’s advantage remains larger than a single race worth of points.
Arie Luyendyk Jr.
One of the longest-tenured drivers in SST history, things have finally begun to break Luyendyk’s way with two victories and three podiums in the last four rounds. After piling on podium after podium over the series’ first five years, the first victory of his SST career finally came at the start of the Perth doubleheader. Driving the Lear-backed truck on Belle Isle, Luyendyk backed that run up with a third place on Saturday morning, and then took the second win of his SST career on Sunday afternoon.